Healthcare Under the Rainbow

This video provides an opportunity to hear from young people in the LGBTIQ+ community about their healthcare experiences, as well as healthcare providers. The video project was funded by LETS (Leadership & Events Training Skills) and Kyneton Community & Learning Centre. For LGBTIQ+ support, contact Cobaw Community Health on 1300 0 COBAW (1300 0 26229).

100 Reasons to Celebrate at Cobaw

The community continues to benefit from the expansion of services for everyone across central Victoria as Cobaw Community Health (Cobaw) increases in size. Starting with three staff in 1986, last month Cobaw celebrated the addition of their 100th staff member. A major employer across Central Victoria, Cobaw provides health and wellbeing services to children, young people, families, adults, older people and people with a disability.

Andrew Kozak, the lucky 100th staff member, joined the Corporate Services team at Cobaw in a Receptionist/Administration Officer role and is thrilled to be a part of this milestone.Photo of Andrew Kozak

“It’s quite exciting to be honest! Not only is it an amazing indication of growth of the organisation to celebrate, it’s also something I’m proud to be part of. Helping the wonderful Cobaw Community Health Service grow in size, and expand into new communities, really gives you a sense of being part of the future,” said Andrew.

“A major appeal of working at Cobaw was the opportunity to work with an organisation that is genuinely caring and strives to make a real difference within local communities. Having lived and worked in some remote areas of Western Australia in 2017, I have seen firsthand the welcomed support that organisations such as Cobaw provide. I also look forward to putting into practice the theory and skills I learnt at university and doing what I can to support the communities I live in.”

In the last three years, Cobaw’s staff numbers have grown from 65 to 100, a reflection of the organisation’s strong commitment to delivering services in response to community demand.

“The population growth in many communities across Central Victoria is driving an expansion of Cobaw’s support services for everyone in our diverse communities, including a demand children, aged care and NDIS services,” said Margaret McDonald, Cobaw CEO.

Romsey Build Progress

An update on progress of our Romsey building project has been posted on the Building Projects page.

Local Donation to Assist the Rainbow Community

Cheque presentation to the WayOut program by Proper Pilates

Cobaw Community Health’s WayOut program was thrilled this week to receive a $900 donation from local business Proper Pilates. The donation will contribute directly towards supporting same-sex attracted and gender diverse young people across the Macedon Ranges.

Located in Kyneton, Proper Pilates is one of Australia’s leading Classical Pilates training centres. Every month during the year the Proper Pilates team host a fundraising event with a commitment to donate proceeds from four events specifically to local causes. When it was time for the team to brainstorm the next local cause, the decision was an easy one.

“As local business owners and members of the LGBTIQ community, we want to play a positive role in helping young people in our local area better understand each other, feel safer, free to be who they want to be, and find their place within our region,” said Wade Edwell, Proper Pilates owner.

“In selecting WayOut for our October fundraising event, we could both raise funds for the group, but also draw awareness of our clientele to their great work, and we’re so happy that the result was so positive. We’re incredibly grateful to our clients who turned out in such wonderful numbers to support our efforts. It is wonderful to see that the community is so supportive of this worthy cause, and really do want to help LGBTIQ young people find a happier place in the world.”

Participants of WayOut’s social group House of Awesome were in attendance at the cheque presentation, as well as a number of Cobaw staff including Margaret McDonald, CEO.

“Donations such as these enable us to continue delivering local services to our community. We’re extremely grateful to the Proper Pilates team and all their clients who attended in support of the WayOut program,” said Margaret McDonald, Cobaw CEO.

Upcoming support group for parent and carers of LGBTIQ+ young people

Are you the parent or a carer of an LGBTIQ+ young person? We are hosting a casual and relaxed evening for parents and carers of same-sex attracted and gender diverse (LGBTIQ+) young people within the Macedon Ranges. The first meeting will be on Thursday 7 December in Woodend, with the purpose of the first session to connect parents with each other and discuss what information or support may be needed in future meetings. For more information or to register, please contact Jacqui or Mez on 5421 1666 or
Refreshments will be provided.

Annual Report 2016-17

Annual Report cover

Our Annual Report 2016-17 is now available for downloading. Click here to access a PDF version.

Each year we invite our clients and their carers, partner agencies, staff and community members to provide feedback on our previous annual report. Feedback received contributes to the planning for the next year’s report and directly contributes towards our quality improvement processes. If you would like to submit your feedback electronically, please visit the Survey Monkey link:

Cobaw Reflects on Successful Year

Cobaw Community Health is hosting the organisation’s 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday 15 November at 7:00pm at the Norma Richardson Hall in Woodend (15 Buckland Street).

The AGM provides the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the last year, including continuing to achieve the vision of providing local place-based health and wellbeing services for everyone in the community.

“Growth seemed to be one of the overarching themes in 2016-17 for Cobaw – growth in new opportunities, in the services we provide, in partnership development, in our staff team and in our operating revenue. This demonstrates our commitment to be well positioned to meet the increasing demand for our services, now and into the future,” said Margaret McDonald, Cobaw’s CEO.

“The annual general meeting enables us to report on the outcomes for the year and to showcase how one of Cobaw’s programs impacts on the life of individuals or families.”

Guest speaker Annie Smithers will speak about how her journey around cooking and food is such an important part of a lifestyle that provides health and wellbeing, particularly good mental health.

Cobaw has over 78 members and the AGM is one of the few times each year that the members meet with the Board of Directors, staff and Cobaw’s partners and stakeholders. As an important community organisation, members of the public are also welcome.

The AGM will begin at 7:00pm with a light supper on arrival at 6:45pm. RSVP to or (03) 5421 1666.

‘YES’ for the health and wellbeing of our rainbow community!

Cobaw Community Health’s WayOut program is hosting a colourful morning tea on Wednesday 15 November in recognition of the Australian Marriage Law postal survey outcome announcement.

There will be live music, free food, and LGBTIQ+ health and support information provided at the morning tea, as well as key speakers following the results announcement. All community members are welcome to attend the alcohol free event at the Royal George Hotel in Piper Street, Kyneton from 11:00am.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates that 77 per cent of Australians have returned their surveys, as of 27 October, with the announcement of results by the ABS at 11:30am on 15 November.

Cobaw Community Health recently joined 22 other community health organisations in a statement in support of marriage equality.

“It is our hope that there will be a positive result in the marriage equality survey for the health and wellbeing of our local LGBTIQ+ community. Research has shown the lack of marriage equality to be specifically associated with poorer health and wellbeing outcomes among LGBTIQ people,” said Margaret McDonald, Cobaw CEO.

Cobaw Community Health provides access to a range of supports, as well as health promotion activities and safe spaces for community members to engage and celebrate. Cobaw’s WayOut program is funded by the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services to support the LGBTIQ+ community in the Macedon Ranges. The Victorian Government has provided one-off funding to support LGBTIQ+ community members to access support during this postal survey period. Community members who need counselling support or LGBTIQ+ specific information can contact Cobaw on 5421 1666.

Safe Sleeping Resources for Children

The following are some helpful resources to ensure safe sleeping for children:

Winner – 2017 Business Excellence Awards

We’re proud to share that we were awarded winner of the Excellence in Health & Wellbeing category of the 2017 Bendigo Bank Macedon Ranges Business Excellence Awards.

The awards recognise deserving community businesses and individuals for their outstanding service, innovation, product and professionalism.

Thank you to all Cobaw staff and volunteers for their invaluable contribution to the organisation, and to the Macedon Ranges community for your support.